14 May 2007


Along with the tragic defeat at gates of Vienna and the "other" half of Cyprus, Eurovision has been one of the issues that had a large and everlasting public audience in Turkey. Once a part of national pride (which was still in dispute to be a part of Europe or Asia), Eurovision Song Contest, which is originally a celebrative gathering of the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union with a semi-formal contest of songs representing each state, has become an arena (not only for Turks, but soon for every member) to prove the artistic leadership in Europe.

In spite of the hysteric audience and months of exhaustive preparations under heavy media coverage, the Turkish songs, which are originally far from being able to be liked by a normal homo sapiens, usually take the positions not far away from the bottom. Of course, the blame was always on the non-voting Europeans, our ultimate enemies in a hundred years old sacred alliance...After years of struggling and geting no positions close to Top 10, the public interest faded into the growing success of Turkish football through the slogans of "Europe, Hear Our Voice " (sung in a rather threatening way). The Eurovision frenzy was only revived when a semi-competent song, sung in English over oriental rhytms, "Every way that I can" by Sertap Erener, won the first place, Turkey remembered its neverending feud with the Europeans in the artistic arena. I remember that Sertab was greeted by highest officials as a hero upon her return to country. In a country where nobel laureates are threatened not to come back, her welcome parade even overshadowed Galatasaray's UEFA Cup showdown.

For Russia, it is almost the same story, in a different country: It was almost an unwritten law of "We can do what you can do" in the socialist sphere that they had to procure an answer to every single act, movement or organisation that the "evil capitalists" create. As expected Eurovision soon found its rival beyond the Iron Wal, The Intervision.

Intervision! Comrades, please do not forget to turn your TV off before the nuclear strike.

Just like Eurovision, Intervision hoped that promoting the differences and similarities in each Communist country would help international relations. It may also have helped distract the viewer from longing for other cultures not so readily approved by the Politburo, on the other side of the Curtain. (A friend from Dresden told me that it used to be the most politically-correct city in East Germany, since no western tv or radio could be broadcasted there because of its geographical features.)

Memorable moments from Soviet TV: "Comrades, here are the news from Varshaw Pact..."

One of the features of Communism's ideology - usually - was the concept of worldwide revolution. As Communism was the most perfect - allegedly - system, so all countries would one day fall to it. And, just as the state under Communism would wither, so would nation states. Therefore, Intervision can actually be seen on a number of levels. It was an answer to Eurovision and a method of improving international relations. It was a tool of propaganda. - the very root activity of Communism.

Memorable moments from Soviet TV 2: In Wheel of Communism, Every Comrade wins

And, it must be said, it was stultifying boring. Military parades, factory tours, military parades...the most beloved programmes should have been the Multfilms (Cartoons) prepared in SoyuzMultFilm (USSR Center of Politically Correct Cartoons) just a block away from my current house near Novoslobodskaya, Moscow.

After the dissollution of the Intervision and Russia's inclusion to Eurovision, we could hear our former enemies' songs. At first, there was the sadistic rule for the songs to be sung in their own language and a live orchestra in Eurovision Song Contest, which made some of the songs like boring national hymns. After the allowance, all songs were automatically reversed to English and it sounded like (and still does) "American Idol" talent show auditions. With the importance of the music diminishing, more beautiful and charming solists were selected and backed by extravagant stage shows. This year, there was a lot of media coverage about the Russian entry with a trio girl-group called Serebro (Silver).

Like three ordinary Russian girls, you may see on the Metro

This is what happens when Russian girls do make-up. Somebody should tell them that make-up is not created for them; but the others to look like them.

Of course we weren't expecting a gay group (as we may expect from Holland) but we were also excited to see what three Russian girls can do on stage, knowing that Eurovision is slowly becoming a freak show -with a lot od semi-nude dancers and singers. Our expectations were also quadrupled by the lead singer's refusal to describe what they would wear on stage.

This is what they wore to attract attention (I am adding no comments)

No need also to say that they were 3rd this year with their song "...shake my bad ass for you..."

Note: Turkish Invasion is not against Eurovision Song Contest...actually he spent his saturday night watching the show, betting on Belarus (and eventually losing 200 roubles to Jack) and was surprised to see the worst song with the worst show to win (Serbia with a group of power-lesbian-alike singer that actually looked like a close friend of mine from Austria -he is a boy-)

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